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[Tortilla Flat] By John Steinbeck Chapters 1~5 Analysis(Background, Characters, Themes)

1309 words - 5 pages

1. What is taking place at the time of the novel in the United States?During this time, President T. Woodrow Wilson with the Congress declared war on Germany (which is WWI) on April 2, 1917. At this time, there was a large scale of mobilization (organization and preparation of people and resources for war). The Congress passed many acts and set up many administrations and boards in order to make sure there were enough resources for war. The Selective Service Act in 1917 required all men between 21~30 register for military service. The Liberty Loan Act in 1917 allowed US government to make loans to the Allies, so that the Allies would have money to buy US supplies. The Espionage Act in 1917 allowed the government to punish anyone who was found helping the enemy or hurting recruitment. The Food Administrations set up prices for crops and persuaded Americans to "conserve" food so that US and Allied soldiers would have enough food in Europe. Besides the government effort, lots of minorities, including women and African-American got great opportunities for new jobs.Source: King, David et al. The United States and Its People. New York: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company. 19932. Find and write down three facts about the author John Steinbeck.He was born from German and Irish ancestryHe got Pulitzer Prize Fiction Award in 1940 for his novel The Grapes of Wrath (1939)His first successful book was Tortilla flat, which received the California Commonwealth Club's Gold Medal for best novel by a California author.Source: National Steinbeck Center. "About John Steinbeck-Biography" National Steinbeck Center. April 24, 2003.3. Name three other books written by Steinbeck.The Grapes of Wrath, Of Mice and Man, East of EdenSource: Stephan, K. "Tortilla Flat." Western Washington University. April 25, 2003.4. List 6 ideas about paisano.They are people with a mixture of Spanish, Indian, Mexican, and Caucasian blood,They have dark-colored skin.They usually live in old wooden houses with untidy yards.They are poor and have a simple life with no complicated ideals.They have a special accent different from Spanish and English.They claim to have pure Spanish blood ancestry.5. Relate each of the words to characters or events in the novelA. InheritanceAfter Danny returns from the WWI, he notices that his grandfather is dead and has inherited 2 houses in Tortilla Flat. He is very depressed because of the responsibility of ownership.B. WineDrinking wine is a social activity for paisanos. Danny, Pilon, Paul and Jesus Maria always drink when they meet or have money. This can be shown in a quote Pilon says, "If I give him hard money, it does not express how warmly I feel toward my friend."(p.20)C. ChickenDanny and Pilon are excited to have neighbors having chicken yards, since they plan to use the chicken as their food sometime. In the house where Danny lives, Mrs. Morales lives next to him. In the house where Pilon, Paul, and Jesus Maria live, there is Mrs. Soto next door having a...

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